Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Diaries- Lessons Learned

Last day of the Rapha Turkey Takeoff. And I did not make it. I did not get my badge. I let Sophia down. She was more than ready to take on the entire challenge but as for me, her engine, I failed her. This challenge wasn't a complete waste though, I learned some valuable lessons. Hopefully when another challenge rolls around, whether it's public or just for myself, these pearls of wisdom will help remind me what it takes to keep going.

Lesson 1: EAT You need to fill that tank up with something good if you plan on going farther than just an hour jaunt. Cinnamon rolls and quesadillas are not good pre-ride fuel, remember that. Recovery food is just as important. A glass of chocolate milk and a croissant with jam does not a healthy meal make. Don't ask me why I didn't have my usual post-ride protein smoothies, I think my body was using brain matter as fuel. A healthy mix of protein and carbs are necessary for a good performance the next day. Trust me I know. I think I ate a total of 900 calories on Thanksgiving day just because I was burned out and not hungry. The next day I felt like a cyclo-zombie.

Lesson 2: Keep your bike in good order. A clean bike is a fast bike. Just like when you were little. Brand new shoes or just washed ones always make you run faster. Give your bike a good wash or spray down, get the grime off her, lube her if she needs it, and do your routine pre-ride checklist. This all sounds kind of naughty now that I'm re-reading it. Lesson here is love your bike and it will give you miles of entertainment and health.

Lesson 3: Find some recovery routines that work for you and use them. Compression socks, ice baths, massages, watching bad movies with your legs elevated. Whatever you find works for you, do it. Don't go and walk through North America's largest car show the day after a butt kicking ride. 2 flights of stairs and I felt like I had cement flip flops on. Do whatever you can to let your body recover, that's all I'm saying. We're not all superheroes.

Lesson 3.5: SLEEP I think this qualifies as recovery too. Your body repairs itself while you slumber. Sleep is wonderful, I love it when I can get it. Find the best method to fall asleep and do it. I like a dram of whiskey and a shortbread cookie. Nah, I honestly have the worst time falling and staying asleep, so if you have any absurd suggestions I WILL try them.

Lesson 4: Use your mind as an ally. If you're having a rough ride use your mind to refocus. Focus on a word, phrase, or scene from a movie. This will help take your mind off the pain or mental negativity you have before you start to have tunnel vision or go cross-eyed, after that you'll pretty much tune out everything. That's when your mind goes on auto pilot, at least for me it does. Heartbeat=pedal stroke=breath. Better make sure you're on your way home once those set in though. You'll end up sitting on the curb in front of a liquor store mumbling, eating Twinkies and having a Coke.

Lesson 5: Last but not least, choose your rides accordingly. With a challenge like this I should have known better then to head for the hills. I wasn't prepared for so much climbing and I got burned out. I should of found some flat routes and put the sails up. 1 or 2 days of climbing is okay, not everyday. Not every ride has to be the Battan Death Ride, unless it really is that sort of challenge.

So there you have it. Lessons I have learned in one week of riding. I did none of them, and I suffered for it. You can bet next challenge I'm going in full charge, so look out.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Disapointing Turkey Diaries-Day 3

Oh I feel like a failure, I would have to burn 5,000 something calories in the next 2 days to make the calorie count. My calculations were wrong, and if you know my math skills it wouldn't surprise you that I was off by 2,000 calories. I'll ride this weekend because I've been having so much fun lately in the saddle, but I would have to ride the Santa Ana river trail (60 to 75 miles depending) for the next 2 days. I know I could do this but I am married and have plans to stay married. C'est la vie.
Redland's most festive house.
I think they have at least 50 lawn decorations.
View of Mt.Baldy through the haze

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Diaries-Day 2

Slowly racking up some calories, I think 9000 is possible if I stick to the same miles and elevation gains I've been doing. Although my afternoon ride on Wednesday combined with my butt crack of dawn ride this morning made for some interesting conversations with the legs. Won't do that again.
I came up with a term for these longer rides: Rotational Meditation Sessions. I get a peaceful feeling listening to my breath and bike working in unison. Good stuff happens on the bike. Unless of course there are runners coming at you 4 abreast and refuse to move. I'm not moving into oncoming traffic just so they can keep up their conversation about what sales they're going to hit up on Black Friday. I'll Red Rover my ass right on through that wall of wannabe Orange County Housewives. Whoops, lost my serenity there for a second.
As I said before it was an early morning ride, always hard on the little pistons, especially in cold weather. I never really seemed to get warmed up, so some f-bombs were dropped in their direction. Fortunately my body has a unique super power- when I giggle, pain and fatigue seem to reduce or even disappear. Sometimes I'll even giggle because of my F-bomb. Usually my giggles start with random things. This morning in particular I had quotes from Blazing Saddles running through my head. "Mungo only pawn in game of life" was one that kept repeating itself. So yeah, I know how to entertain myself.
Yep those are Embrocation Hi-Vis shoe covers, a very good investment

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Diaries-Day 1

It is day one of the Rapha Turkey Take-Off. Already I messed up and took Nyquil last night and ended up oversleeping. So no long early morning ride, had to settle for a nooner and could only ride 2.5 hours because I had get back and make some prints and make it to the post office before it closed. Wheew, that was a long sentence, 7 years of college didn't help my grammar that's for sure.
Fancy Camera Work

So maybe you heard me bitch on Twitter about the Turkey Challenge. I thought it was going to be unfair because heavier riders burn calories faster, but the good folks at Strava made it fair, everything is averaged somehow, I don't know the details but it works.
One Big-Ass Turkey

So my ride today, absolutely amazing weather. I apologize to those in the Pacific Northwest, back East or anywhere where the weather is crap. 70 degrees, high wispy clouds, and a slight breeze. The ride itself was my normal Sunset loop-around Sunset, down to the outer highway, backtracked through Sunset, downtown and then back home. Fun times and giggles were had, saw a cat and this giant lawn turkey. So I'm going to try and finish this damn thing, usually if I blog about something I tend to burn out. This may be the perfect time frame (5 days) for my gnat-like attention span. Hopefully I keep to my guns and hit the 9000 mark. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Is this Where We're Headed?

No, no, no! This goes against everything that is pure and true.
Looks like a hot robot mess.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Love My Tires, Do You Love Yours?

That's some haircut lady.

It's been over a week since my last entry. I have let myself down, I've let YOU guys down, and for that I give you Diamondback Debbie. I don't know if that's her real name but it should be, she should also live in Dallas and work in the entertainment industry. Filming a public broadcast knitting show, get your minds out of the gutter. I don't know how old this photo is but that is one wicked stem angle, she's going to knock her teeth out. She kind of looks like Chandler's girlfriend from Friends. Remember the one he stole from Joey? I think she might of took the bodypaint job because I haven't seen her in anything since then. Thank you to for bringing this photo to our attention.

Oh that Chandler, stealing Joey's bodypaint/model girlfriend.

Now down to business. I have been wanting to spread the good word about Continental Gator Hardshells for awhile now. I've been using them since my birthday, no wait anniversary, yeah I got them in June. I've put quite a bit of miles on them and I am happy to say that these are by far the best everyday tires you could possibly own. Not a flat in sight, thank goodness, because there is no way in heck I'm getting these puppies off by myself on the side of the road. (that is my only complaint about them) I know a lot of you want light, smooth rolling, race tires and that's great but I can't wear those shoes. I tend to look at something and head right towards it. It's like that shard of glass is the Death Star and it has it's nasty tractor beam locked on me and I can't break away. Unfortunately I don't have a shroud fitted for my bike.
Don't you laugh at our Shaft (shut yo mouth) inspired tile.

My Hubby actually got these for me for our 6th Wedding Anniversary. He got sick of hearing my "oh, I got a flat again" stories every other week, and for a month it was once a week at least. Yeah, I'm kind of a dipshit when it comes to debris, I blame it on my mountain biking background, roll it on over. In my defense 89% of the time it was tiny thorns or noseeum glass, unavoidable to anyone. That other 11% of the time I was looking at a cow or funny mailbox and didn't see the discarded box of drywall screws or broken 40 oz bottle of Mickeys. I have taken these tires over miles of gravel, potholes, palm fronds, small children and never a mark on them. They seem indestructible, I don't know what could hurt them, honestly I hope I never find out. If you are like me and like a trust worthy tire that will allow you to ride over any terrain without worry, go, go now you silly folk and pick up a pair, from your local bike shop of course, show 'em some love.

"We'll I'll be a Fig Newton, I'm standing next to a girl with a tiny head!" I review the best cycling helmet ever to be placed upon my minuscule head. If you suffer the same fate I do I suggest you stay tuned.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall/Winter Tee selection


Freebird Velo has some new offerings for the Fall/Winter season. Some of these tees have been seen on and , no biggie or anything. Take a look and if you see something that calls to you, you can find it on the FBV shop here.

Crap weather? Eddy would ride, no doubt.
Ride your bike a long way,
tackle some hills, sprint against your friends,
spray them with your water bottle if you loose.
Suffer along the way, it's all part of the ride.
Maurice is back.
Breakaways or the grupetto,
he's an equal opportunity cheerer.

Are you as confused, pissed off, and depressed as I am
about the exclusion of the Muur and Bosberg in the RVV?
Wear a tee, it'll make everything all right.
Rouleurs are the super-duper domestiques
of the peloton. So show your local rouleur
some love, wear the tee.